(Natural News) The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a “shelter in place” warning after detecting unhealthy and contaminated air amid the massive blaze at the renewable energy plant in Doral, Florida.
Parks and schools near the Covanta waste-to-energy (WTE) facility had been ordered to close since the fire started on Feb. 12.
“Parks were closed, schools were impacted and residents near the Miami-Dade County waste-to-energy facility in Doral were urged to stay indoors Friday [Feb. 17] after a report from the Environmental Protection Agency showed the air quality in the area at ‘unhealthy’ levels earlier this week,” NBC 6 South Florida reported.
According to investigations, the fire began when garbage in the recycling plant went up in flames and the conveyor belts moved the flaming trash around the facility. Two buildings were still burning when the order to stay indoors was issued.
The EPA report stated that there were two separate times on Feb. 15 when the air quality reached toxic and dangerous levels, first at 7 p.m. and the other between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m. the following day near the west side of the plant. Miami-Dade officials urged all residents residing between Northwest 74th Street and Northwest 92nd Street and Northwest 92nd Avenue to Northwest 112th Avenue to remain indoors throughout the day.
Authorities have also recommended citizens in the area to wear masks if they do have to go outside and roll up their windows if they’re driving near the conflagration. They recommended running the air conditioning at home to re-circulate the air in the house and changing air filters more frequently than usual.
As of Monday, Feb. 20, the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue was continuing with its 24-hour operations. Firefighters started getting better access to the flames and the smoke levels were said to be improving.
Meanwhile, concerned citizens are starting to worry about the toxic incidents that come one after the other, wreaking havoc on America’s environment. This incident came amid the ongoing Ohio train derailment scandal. (Related: DEADLY COCKTAIL: 6 Toxic chemicals released in Ohio train derailment.)
People near Doral plant with pre-existing conditions are at risk
People with respiratory illnesses raised concerns about air quality in the area.
Maria Britto, one of the residents with pre-existing respiratory condition, said her health is worse. Britto does not hesitate to wear a mask to get out of her house and share what life has been like in the last few days. “I have asthma. My chest is burning, I actually have an eczema flare-up right now all over my face and they don’t give us any answers about anything,” she said, referring to city and county authorities.
Dr. Dadilia Garces, epidemiologist and Miami Dade College professor, believes anyone in the Doral area with a pre-existing respiratory condition has the right to be concerned in spite of officials saying there are no toxic chemicals in the air.
“The size of the particles that are there at this moment, they are very tiny and they are capable to get into their respiratory and circulatory system. That means people with preexistent conditions are more susceptible to have attacks or have complications in their systems,” said Garces.
Meanwhile, Jackson Health System Dr. Chris Ghaemmaghaghami said during a city virtual town hall meeting: “People who have chronic respiratory problems like emphysema, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), or asthma may be the folks who are susceptible.”
Pollution.news has more stories on air contaminants and toxic materials.
Watch the video below that shows massive black smoke in the Doral air space due to the WTE blaze.
This video is from the GalacticStorm channel on Brighteon.com.
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